Agents defeat web in battle for solo travellers

Research giant Mintel has discovered a niche travel area where high street agents are successfully differentiating compared with web-based agents.

Solo travellers and friendship groups have not yet migrated en masse to the internet, it said in this weeks report into single travellers.

Although solo travel and travel with friends are relatively small markets compared to the core family/couples market, these holiday types are favoured by the growing singles population and offer a further point of differentiation for high street agents with relevant expertise.

Mintel estimates that as many as five million Brits are likely to travel alone this year, equivalent to a 5% growth over the past four years.

The growth has come not only on the back of a demographic shift towards single households but also the development of specific products for the single traveller.

By 2030, singles will account for 45% of the UK population compared with around one-third currently.

The study claimed that more than one in eight long-haul holidays are taken alone, compared to one in 20 holidays overall.

However, singles are more exposed to the current economic slowdown, Almost half of all singles did not go away at all in 2008, which compares to less than one third of non-singles, Mintel said.

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